DESIRE (THE PEARL NECKLACE)
(director: Frank Borzage; screenwriters: Samuel Hoffenstein, Edwin Justus Mayer, Waldemar Young/from the play by Hans Szekely & R.A. Stemmle; cinematographer: Charles Lang; editor: William Shea; music: Leo Robin/Friedrich Hollander cast: Marlene Dietrich (Madeleine de Beaupre), Gary Cooper(Tom Bradley), William Frawley (Mr. Gibson), John Halliday (Carlos Margoli), Alan Mowbray (Dr. Maurice Pauquet), Ernest Cossart (Aristide DuValle), Zeffie Tilbury(Aunt Olga), Akim Tamiroff (Avilia-police official); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Ernst Lubitsch/Frank Borzage; Criterion Collection/Paramount; 1936)
“An agreeable sophisticated romantic comedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An agreeable sophisticated romantic comedy directed by Frank Borzage (“7Th Heaven”/”Moonrise”). It’s based on the German play by Hans Szekely & R.A. Stemmle, and is smartly written by Samuel Hoffenstein, Edwin Justus Mayer and Waldemar Young. After seven films with her Hollywood mentor Joseph von Sternberg, the great Dietrich makes her first film for Paramount producer Ernst Lubitsch and gets to use his more likable romantic “touch.”
In Paris, jewel thief Madeleine de Beaupré (Marlene Dietrich) steals a valuable pearl necklace from the upscale jeweler Aristide Duvalle (Ernest Cossart) while posing as the wife of the famous psychiatrist Dr. Pauquet (Alan Mowbray). She immediately heads to Spain in her luxury car, where on the road she bumps into the vacationing handsome American auto engineer Tom Bradley (Gary Cooper). When crossing the border into Spain she slips the necklace into Tom’s suit jacket to avoid customs, but has difficulty getting the necklace back until her crime boss Carlos Margoli (John Halliday) appears in San Sebastian to use trickery to take the necklace off the naive American. Stricken with love and a change of heart about crime, in the final act Marlene straightens things out with the police and the jeweler, and marries Tom while on parole.
REVIEWED ON 5/20/2018 GRADE: B https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/